I quit AMFI in 2018 and have been in therapy and/or on medication since. I'm diagnosed with an anxious depression. As I am writing this I am sewing which wasn't possible for me in years. After leaving and also during my last design semester in AMFI the second I touched my sewing machine I started to cry. It went so far that I thought my sewing machine gave me electric shocks. It didn't, other people using the machine never got shocked. After my second year I took a semester off to put myself back together after a massive break down. I didn't realised then that I was already severely depressed. I was too scared to sleep or work with my window open as I thought my body would take over and just haul myself out of it into silence and peace. During my semester off I was severely isolated.
As an international student the only thing in Amsterdam was AMFI, my friends were AMFI students and busy with their course. My anxiety and depression led to me being unable to leave the house. And even wash myself at times. I spent most of my time in bed in a practically vegetative state. When I tried to go to places I would frequently have anxiety attacks in elevators or queues.
I am doing much better, am more social, but I often struggle and now that I am not surrounded by AMFI students I often struggle alone because the people around me just don't know how it is. I'm sure I will start to remember more, I usually try not to think about the details of my experience at AMFI.
When I was on vacation back home and it was time to pack my bags and leave to go back to Amsterdam I would get anxiety attacks reducing me to tears. Even after quitting AMFI I could hardly visit my friends as the city alone had become such a symbol of terror for me. I now have lots of regrets on things I should've done better while studying at AMFI. I regret not enjoying my time in Amsterdam. I regret not partying and living a full student life. But what's really tragic is that I still think I should've worked harder and often think I just didn't have the potential needed. I miss the extreme pressure and adrenaline rush. I remember cycling home after handing in my seventh hand in of that week and it was like the most amazing drug. It really is like a toxic relationship. It's so great and so awful. Now I feel like my life and everything I do is just mediocre and dull. I think that's actually the worst part about it.